Chelsea's tough title defence was to be expected - Klopp
Chelsea are nine points off the pace in the Premier League, but Jurgen Klopp expected the champions to struggle in their title defence.
Jurgen Klopp believes Chelsea should be content with their start to the season, even though the Premier League champions trail leaders Manchester City by nine points.
Antonio Conte's men cruised to the title last term, but they have found life rather more difficult this time around and lie in third place, having lost at home to Burnley on the opening day and later suffering back-to-back defeats to City and strugglers Crystal Palace.
But Klopp, whose Liverpool side host Chelsea on Saturday, feels a number of factors have contributed to the Blues' league position – which is one he thinks Conte would have expected.
"They lost two very decisive players in [Nemanja] Matic and [Diego] Costa," Klopp said at his pre-match news conference when asked why Chelsea have fallen away.
"It's really difficult in this league to play the same season like you did before so they are in a position they probably expected to be. Also, Man City are flying so no one can cope with them."
Klopp is unbeaten in his four meetings with Chelsea as Liverpool manager, twice drawing at Anfield and winning on both trips to Stamford Bridge.